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tv   [untitled]    October 5, 2012 8:30am-9:00am EDT

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of. oxen. to be soon which brings the. sun from phones to pressure. from the start time team don't come. and you
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can. start. a low in welcome across the uk i'm peter lavelle debating the debate the first direct encounter between president barack obama and republican challenger mitt romney left the incumbent looking like road kill what is behind obama's failure and does it really matter. if you started. to cross talk the first us presidential debate i'm joined by rachel mars today in paris she's a political communications strategist and sidney cade a columnist in washington we have nile standage he is a staff writer for the hill and in london we crossed to david nicholson he is a london based freelance journalist right folks cross the girls and i mean he can jump in anytime want to rachel what in the world happened last night why why did obama really bomb. so you just had to relieve the office it's interesting however
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when saying the bar really low for each of their candidates both campaigns were the word got out that apparently mitt romney was had a really bad night sleep in the hotel because a train whistle kept going off they stayed in some kind of hotel that was near said the train tracks and the whistle kept going off so they were lowering the bar barack obama's campaign was saying look he might not come out too well in this first debate so they are lowering the bar but i think ultimately maybe he just had a really long day because i was actually really surprised that mitt romney came across this strongly he was aggressive he was in control. listeners right now that although on this program are all none of us really have a dog in this fight. i am very much for romney so i may as well put that put that out there but the same time in a relatively objective analysis and i think it's important to you know disclosure biases before you give an analysis of people view is can least understand where you're coming from but looking at it really objectively i was surprised because i
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thought romney would have a pretty difficult time as he has thus far connecting with voters. he's not necessarily a charismatic guy but you don't need to be charismatic in order to connect with voters. and we've seen here in france is far from charismatic and he connected with voters in the last election here and ended up winning stephen harper in canada again not at all charismatic it's not a word you so say it was stephen harper but again he managed to connect with them on a very important point and i think that's what we saw with mitt romney in this debate right from the get go in his opening statement the first two minutes they had he really did grab ahold of of the emotional aspect of this whole economic. states by talking about real people and their problems and then he said wait into his five points here is my plan because he was really criticized that after the convention after republican convention on the fact that he didn't really make his platform clear and people didn't really know what he was going to be about his plan for i. mean what was your reaction to the debate ok i mean romney came out really quite
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stellar i must admit. he did mitt romney seemed to really know what the debate was about what the challenge was for him the challenge for him was to take the fight not just to an incumbent president but to someone who he has been lagging in the polls quite significantly in the recent past so he needed to win that debate the thing that really shocked me more than anything else was just how past of almost. president obama appeared to be he really didn't take on mitt romney in any way at all possibly because he felt he was ahead and therefore he didn't have the need to definitively win the debate but i also think you know when we discuss these things it is important to just basically state the obvious which is that president obama has not had recent practice in actually what i had thought of doing obvious governor romney had it was quite obvious it's been four years since he met senator
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john mccain in a similar scenario to this one governor romney on the other hand participated in almost twenty debates in the process of winning the republican party's presidential nomination i think that basic fact recent practice really played to governor romney's strength last night you know david it's interesting if obama can't defend his you know his time in office who can because he didn't do a very good job of it. no he didn't but he is at least in office he's the incumbent and maybe being the incumbent made him slack off a little bit he was you know if he was feeling the pressures of the job perhaps you know he's got a lot on his mind maybe more than somebody who's running against him he's got all the foreign policy issues that he has to keep track of and i thought the other difference between his his performance last night and previous times i've seen him was that he was up against an alpha male he wasn't perkins the career politician
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somebody who's got the wank business that he has you know an academic and maybe that played to romney's strengths that he's this guy who's risen from relatively modest beginnings and and has made a stack of money and hires and fires thousands of people and that may be you know cut across. as type of approach because he's more thoughtful and he's more of a academic kind of guy you know rachel i think for the reader can i go jump in i would hope one of the program go ahead. yeah i know exactly just to pick up on on david's point i think that that is a great point that obama is often criticized for appearing too much like a college professor sometimes i think that criticism is unfair but last night it wasn't and these debates are all about persuading on the side of voters people who don't necessarily track every issue really closely and i thought that in that basis
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governor romney came across as the man with real conviction and what he was talking about and president obama came across as sort of this is a guy who we disagree with but there's no real problem with and that's totally contrary to the message of obama's campaign which is to be just paint romney as unacceptable rachel jump in go ahead. you know just as a communications tactic because i do a lot of communications strategy work with people who who do debates against other opponents. as part of what they do for a living and one thing that really struck me that i think was very powerful for any viewers watching last night was the fact that mitt romney was speaking all night directly to barack obama to the point of calling me you instead of referring to him as the president whereas broke obama was speaking directly to the camera directly to the people very rarely directly engage with mitt romney and that was striking to me and it's a tactic that's that's often used by the incumbent i know that in canada stephen
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harper uses it quite effectively instead of engaging in the debate it makes it look like when you do when you're already the incumbent it makes it look like you're getting kind of down and dirty and. and it looks really president you know but rachel don't you think you see it easily it looks more authoritative when they speak directly to the people who ride but it's interesting being worked at it looked to me it looked like obama had could attempt for him that's what it looked like. right it came off a little strangely and that's not normally the way it does come come off when an incumbent uses that tactic and speaks directly to the people who did look like he did have contempt for mitt romney and didn't really want to gauge but romney was engaging them all night and i think that was romney's strength or one of the strengths from a perception standpoint in this debate you know viewers would definitely have picked up on i think ok i'm going to pass comment about you know i was going to say david i think for the first time romney got what he wanted he looked presidential
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for the first time. yeah yeah i think he did he's looked out of touch before he seemed to be connecting he was connecting punches and he was connecting with the american people who after all are a very aspirational race you know they want to be mitt romney they don't necessarily want to be barack obama what barack obama succeeded in doing in the last election was persuading them that george w. bush had made a terrible mess of running the country but he's not yet proved that. that romney would make a terrible mess there and he has got this track record of commercial success which is a is a weakness in a bomber's argument he can't say that this guy has has failed in his own by his own estimation you know now i think it's very interesting is that the obama obama people tried to tried to run this as a referendum on romney but now it's the reverse. right
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exactly i mean the whole strategy of the obama team has been to portray met romney as an unacceptable choice in various ways to portray him as an extremely rich man who doesn't understand ordinary people's problems to portray a must someone who has on the acceptably unacceptable tax policies that really favor the rich excessively that strategy came undone to a certain extent last night and i think that romney did really play his hand pretty strongly in terms of both protesting that he did have concern for so-called ordinary people and also suggesting that regular romney that his tax plan was more fair or less favoring the wealthy although let's talk about just because of exactly nihilo me ask you it was a political malpractise for obama not to mention the forty seven percent. political malpractise it was very strict it's strange it was very surprising it was very very
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surprising that has been the big issue for the past couple of weeks in this campaign and it played perfectly into the case that obama is trying to make that romney simply doesn't care now perhaps obama was trying to sort of fly above the. wrangling in this campaign look presidential but i think that that is a very difficult task for him to pull off given that he was also one which i think it was a referendum. david yeah i think he was playing a longer game you know he knows that the american people's attention span is pretty short they look for go on this this debate by the time they come to vote he'll be going on about forty seven percent in the two weeks coming up to the vote for sure and nobody will be allowed to forget it but right now i think he was taking a bit of a backseat he was a letting romney make mistakes well he didn't make too many but he's fallen into
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these elephant traps consistently over the last few months and i'm sure they'll be more to come so i think a bomb is just being cool and as you know that's his reputation he doesn't get carried away he's statesman like yesterday he was too cool to the point of frigid maybe but i think this it's a matter of timing and that and the timing wasn't right to go on about the forty seven percent or else people would be tired of it before we get to the election ok rachel couples i get i got to really look for the break go ahead rachel. twenty seconds go ahead. yeah i think in this debate people are going to see it's kind of like watching a foreign movie without subtitles i think policy wonks even have a hard time understanding the concept of revenue neutral tax cuts and i think the average person is going to be looking at this and just a very superficial level saying oh that sounds good he looks good oh he's smirking oh that's really not a very nice game and he let me go bad on my way to going to
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a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the first presidential debate in the u.s. state. mission free accreditation free in-store charges free arrangement free. three stooges free. download free blog plug in video for your media projects free media. dot com in.
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for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune into a report. anything . you can want to. welcome back to crossfire i'm a little too mind you we're talking about the u.s. presidential race. anything.
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ok now if i go back to you in washington do you think any of the voters are going to change their mind based on this debate the first debate. the vast majority will not do so i think the united states at the moment is a very polarized nation and there's a considerable amount of evidence from the polls that this year in particular the number of persuadable voters is very small but those persuadable voters are absolutely critical to the outcome that is the segment that both these candidates are trying desperately to change to bring over to their side on the basis alone i would expect mitt romney to get some kind of gain in the opinion polls from this debate maybe it will only be two three four percentage points but remember that is roughly the size of president obama's pulling lead at the moment so we could easily be looking at a situation where on the back of last night's debate mitt romney makes this race a dead heat david i think to kind of extrapolate from what you said earlier the
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fact checkers are going all over romney right now ok but he made a lot of mistakes right now that kind of plays into your theory now now the obama people have a lot to chew on. yeah yeah i think he he was he was certainly allied in the truth on his tax plans and on what he was saying about obamacare medicare he has got some explaining to do over the coming days and weeks because he this is one of the problems with romney that he does play fast and loose with the fact sometimes it's government trouble before i think the question is how hard you are on him on these you know how how serious those mistakes are and where the you concentrate more on the style of barmah because that's what he's now got to make up rather than getting too wonky again to sort of pointy headed academic but sure there's got to be there's going to be some explaining and also you know the
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the big difference in. their. present facts is that a farmer is still trying to help the less well off and romney is trying to help the better better off that fact needs to be delineated i don't know whether you would agree with that maybe use you all i mean really this is a way to buy romney's you know his newfound affection for the no i think it's a very good point rachel do you want to have a valid because it's the only you know i mean romney tried to be very consensual on some issues which is very different we saw a different romney in many different ways rachel go ahead and well what we saw is what we saw last night is somebody was trying to champion the middle class and explain that look what you call rich you meaning barack obama is not necessarily really rich people who you know are living in castles and burning lots of money and in private planes who they are as entrepreneurs who employ a few other people and what he also went on to say was which was understood to all
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by i think anyone watching the debate maybe not even romney himself the tax policy center explained it like these. tax cuts no i'm serious i mean i didn't understand anybody had just me and i wasn't paying twenty percent go ahead well no no well i don't think he really understood he this is the thing or at least he hasn't shown that he does and this is what's confusing to a lot of people who are trying to understand all the bouncing ball and he's talking about basically a twenty percent federal task which he hopes to to make or says he will make revenue neutral by then closing some loopholes and deductions but the biggest deduction i can think of is is maybe mortgage credit and that's what i think and i don't think you could ever come up with a number of mortgage deductions that will make up for a twenty percent cut in revenue for the federal government so i think barack obama's trying to get at that equation you saying look the math doesn't work but the problem is that romney said it does you know read it talks about tax policy
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about like it was just like why don't you get this and the average person might be saying there is where mitt romney actually has an advantage over brock obama on that issue the average person sitting back watching at home might be saying well you know what it doesn't make sense to me either or to him but hey he's a bain guy and he's probably done this before so maybe he has something has even said look this hasn't been done before so the average person might be thinking well roll rag and cut taxes but maybe this guy has like a secret sauce you know it's interesting you figured out yet so let me go to. maybe that's it and i'll find go to you i think that's what obama was confused because romney didn't make any sense on a number of points and romney took advantage of that obviously. well on the tax cut pointed particular i think rachel's point is an interesting one essentially agree with her that voters watching the debate in the moment are not going to be particularly fascinated by the minutiae of tax policy group but what i would say about the printer is that
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a lot of the time it's actually the post debate discussion that matters a lot and for maine public perceptions of these things and already today we're seeing the obama chair. ok really driving hard at that precise point at the point that romney has not and fact really stipulated with great clarity how he will make this measure revenue neutral what loopholes he will close and i think those are the kind of things that the obama campaign is really frankly clinging on to at the moment in an attempt to make this debate a little bit damaging for their candidate than it first appeared to be you know david i think was very interesting is that even on the thing you know it's interesting is that the or obama is so they wouldn't they wouldn't be beholden to the fact checkers you know do you think they're going to regret that now because as someone pointed out we were in the post truth media environment. well you can you can say you're not going to be beholden but if somebody comes out with a statistic that is clearly inaccurate or unprovable then you're going to do that i
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mean people take these positions in these debates in order to get one over on the on the on their rivals i think that obama took a deliberate position that he was going to be laid back and he's going to be in the back seat here prime sure to do a different thing next time i think he's an adaptable and very clever guy and it's a bit of a sort of round one of a boxing match or a game of tennis or something like this and it's going to sway backwards and forwards you know we've got a long way to go on this it's a marathon it's very very interesting rachel do you think this this debate will energize both camps right now because most camps or at least you know the obama camp getting a little complacent you know it's almost in the bag ok and now the republicans think oh there's more hope now i mean energized on both sides. i think it's certainly energizing people within the beltway the policy wonks people like us who really are passionate about this kind of thing but i think the average person based
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on the reactions i was reading on twitter last night they were saying oh yeah is there a reality show on somewhere out you know that it's always going to be the same nothing's going to change them are which one of these guys is elected so the general public i think is still pretty cynical about the whole process that's already sensing there one of my friends said on twitter you know you know we're all screwed anyway right whichever one of these guys gets. and i think that actually does capture the way the general public thanks right now i wonder what i'm saying so i'm one yeah i mean we're certainly energized punk peter what are you going to be remembered as the big bird debate what do you think about that. because that twitter that was a commonly all debates. laws mitt romney was making the argument that although he wants to cut the budget for public broadcasting here he does like big bird obviously you know seriously a lot of debates the display of humor or a particularly memorable line is sticks in people's minds a lot has been said that coming out against big bird is not generally a winning the electoral proposition in the united states or anywhere else for that
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matter where you are losing one ok i mean what you think about that because romney forever now is tied to big bird is that what he wants that's what he wants well he's a bit of a big bird and kill mind you know he's he's got he's got a sort of way of resisting. it i mean i thought he came out with a few good lines there was a line about for the president's plane and you know any you have to stick to his own facts and he's got to it's got away with words that we perhaps didn't suspect because he's not shown that at least on this side of the atlantic before so you know he's changing people's minds i you know i think when when talks about two three four percent that could change their mind that's a that's pretty substantial in electoral terms and. certainly i think obama's got something to to think about here in terms of the swing states the republican
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exploiters who have gone off the republican party because it's gone so far to the to an extreme talking about abortion in really difficult ways for them to accept and many other things if they can be swayed back just by the sheer force of personality and charisma which he showed last night that. could be a big change now do you think we have a real race again you just change the dynamic in any way meaningful way down. i mean it has certainly changed the energy levels of both counts and it has certainly created the impression that mitt romney is in with a real chance in this respect obviously one of the disadvantages all of us space is that the opinion polls about this do not come out for two or three days afterward and so we don't really know the impact that this has had on public opinion but clearly if we were talking today and mitt romney had lost the debate or had been only ok in the debate we would all be saying this race is effectively over we're
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not saying that because he was really pretty good last night and also because president obama was not good he had a bad night by any measure rachel jump in go ahead. but that could also be a tactic to i mean when i finish watching the debate last night paris time really early this morning i was thinking maybe this is a tactic to lower the bar and maybe he's just going to come blasting out of the gates in the final two debates maybe he's planning on keeping this kind of a tone for the first couple i don't know i don't i'm not privy to the details of their campaign strategy but i think it would be a bad strategy suddenly you know he looks like he's losing he looks like he's losing ground suddenly he's the comeback kid in a chair is a i you know it's a robot of from two thousand and eight he's back again that could be a tactic which could be kind of interesting kind of catalyst that's almost later sorry to jump ahead very quickly but i think that's a bit of a found so i think that's a little bit of a fanciful idea that's kind of like him to say that a soccer team gives up a goal in the first half so they can come roaring back in the second half no
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shocker take actually dulls know but that's all i gave obama that's the thing that's only one game but this is a series you know if you lose the game you're you're potentially you're further back than you otherwise would be that's the problem no one sets a rule is it also makes me sad when they will make it better ok david if you don't want to sort of let's go to david yeah i. was surprised at some points he actually seemed to be struggling to remember things he you know there was just a many seconds gap between him trying to think what to say and actually getting out all right now so you run out of time as to maybe discussion will discuss it with during election time many thanks my guest today in paris london and washington thanks to our viewers for watching if you don't you see you next time and remember crosstalk.
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if. it would be soon which brightened a few. songs from fans to pressure. me from stunts on t.v. don't come. close to the. series technology innovation all the lives developments from around russia we've got this huge earth covered. it.
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comes to. get off sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something else and you hear or see some other part of it and realize everything you thought you don't know i'm tom harpur welcome to the big picture.


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